Available on Xbox One, PC and PS4 (Physical and Digital)
Size: 7.44 GB
Reviewed on Xbox One.
The Technomancer is a Sci-Fi / Action RPG game developed by Spiders Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive. It was released June 28th 2016.
“Your adventure begins long after the start of the colonization of Mars, which is now a wasteland, with artefacts and relics from a bygone era littering the surface of the Red Planet.”
Mars, colonized more than 20 years ago, is now a dangerous place to live and survive every day. At first, when the first earth colonists settled, it was an optimal place to live; thanks to the thin but suitable atmosphere that provided normal conditions for life developing and sustain.
Suddenly an unexpected turn of events occurred; Mars orbit changed and moved closer to the sun, having devastating effects such as sun radiation exposure, resulting on death, destruction and mutations.
All contact with Earth was lost, Mars was now completely isolated, and the consequences directly impacted on the Red Planet’s economy; no more raw materials deliveries from Earth could be expected, and the new harsh conditions also took a hit on agriculture, one of the most important reliable sources for mars habitants survivability.
This extreme situation led to unending wars between every faction in order to control water, because every drop counts, and now water was not only the source of life, but the source of power also.
The Technomancer begins with the main character Zachariah, a young rookie on his way to earn the officer promotion, which will occur once he completes his training. His master, Sean Mancer will guide him to the Dome, to defeat the looters and therefore protect the secret that has been kept there for a long time (not gonna spoil it!).
This right here is the tutorial section of the game. After the character creation screen, you’ll jump directly to the combat training and you’ll start your very first game mission afterwards. I would definitely recommend not skipping the different combat styles training, it was very helpful indeed and well explained; I guarantee you will have a hard time if you don’t practice and leave the tutorial area soon.
Once you complete the first mission, boss fight included, you’ll become a Technomancer, which is a powerful mixture of a mage and warrior; elite protectors, guardians of knowledge and technology. Your master Sean Mancer warns you that once you become a Technomancer there is no freedom and no turning back, but Zachariah doesn’t seem to be worried one bit about it.
I’ll end up covering story here in order to keep you away from spoilers.
As you may know, the gameplay is one of the most important parts of any RPG game; this will make the difference on how good or bad The Technomancer really is.
Starting with the difficulty settings, this game offers the standard options; easy, normal, hard and extreme. I played on normal and it turned out to be challenging at times; make sure to watch out for the health bar.
The combat system features 3 main techniques –warrior, guardian and rogue- plus the additional technomancy powers, and it’s up to you to decide which one you use.
+The guardian combat style is the way to go for a defensive approach, using a mace and shield. Some say the best offense is a good defense, or was it the other way around…?
+If you want to be more aggressive, try the warrior style, using the staff, which can be electrified with the complementary technomancer skills. This is perfect for area damage.
+And last but definitely not least, the rogue combat style, featuring a gun and a blade. This is my favourite one. High mobility, poisoning chances and quick and critical hits.
All these three combat styles can be complemented with your technomancy powers, using electricity to your advantage.
Upgrades are a must have feature for any RPG game too, and The Technomancer has plenty of variety in this aspect, both for your character and weapons. Throughout your play time you’ll earn different points every time you level up, here’s closer look on how you can spend them:
+Skill Points – Earn both active and passive skills related to technomancy or any fighting style.
+Talent Points – Charisma, Crafting, Science, Traps and lock-picking, Stealth and Exploration.
+Attribute Points – Strength, Agility, Power and Constitution (Character’s stats) this upgrades may allow you to equip or use new types of gear.
You’ll be able to manage your companions and your personal equipment in the inventory intuitive menu; decide which weapons and gear is best for you and your allies.
Equipment can be upgraded on workbenches placed all around the different areas you’ll end up visiting. You can also upgrade your companion’s equipment and weapons, but you won’t be able to modify their abilities.
During battle, you can command your allies to focus on defense or attack, and generally, the enemy and companions AI seems decent.
The economy system of the game is smart; serum is the currency used. It can be obtained by looting or draining enemies. When you defeat an enemy it gets knocked out. You can decide to drain him (this basically means killing him) in order to get more serum out of him, BUT this won’t be “accepted” by your companions; one of the Technomancer’s principles is to respect the value of life, as your master Sean Mancer once taught you.
If you go on and drain (human) enemies you Karma will decrease, this will also happen with certain decisions you make, and that Karma loss has an essential impact on how your companions see you. Having a good relationship with them will allow you to know more of their story and unlock some side quests. On the other hand, a bad relationship means they’ll probably leave you.
There’s also a crafting system, but it is not as useful as it could be. You can also rely on merchants to get new equipment, using serum to either buy or sell gear.
There’s a wide variety of weapons and enemies, from the humans of the different factions, to the hybrid monsters you’ll eventually fight. There are also boss battles with bigger enemies, like the great mantis you encounter at the first hour of the game.
GRAPHICS, SOUND AND PERFORMANCE
Regarding the technical section of the game, there’s almost nothing negative to say. Martian badlands are as beautiful as can be; visit the wasteland, canyons, settlers ruins, military bases and every city for an immersive feeling and joyful experience in return.
Luckily enough, the soundtrack completely suits the game, providing the necessary intense combat moments with a variety of synths used for that purpose. Voice acting is not remarkable, it’s just okay, but the other sounds that appear on the game are simply satisfying.
During my play time, there were no performance issues –or at least I didn’t notice them so far. The Technomancer Xbox One version runs at native 900p and 30 frames per second. Nonetheless, I found that to be a smooth experience.
PERSONAL OPINION / CONCLUSION
After a slow start, The Technomancer seems quickly to catch up, raising the thrill to a higher level. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of upgrades and options featured in the game, and due to the interesting gameplay mechanics it offers, I consider it to be a solid RPG.
The combat system and how it works makes this game worth it. Dodging attacks and performing succesful strikes on your enemies never looked more spectacular. I really enjoyed every enemy encounter.
Developers stated that the duration of the game lasts around 30 to 40 hours, including both primary and secondary missions/ side quests, which is pretty neat if you ask me.
Despite these good things, there seems to be something missing in The Technomancer; it just feels like a diamond in the rough. Among some of the flaws I found, it’s worth mentioning that the loot and draining animation may become an issue for you; such common and important actions will eventually feel slow and repetitive – it takes a considerable amount of time to loot a group of fallen enemies – and that’s a true shame since those actions directly impact on the game economy system. I would rather have no animation at all for this or at least a quicker one.
The interesting story background presented at first doesn’t manage to keep up; mid game the story fails to grab your attention. However I must say that the ambience of the different cities is stunning; you can really feel the tension of the political conflicts in every wall painted with war propaganda.After a slow start, The Technomancer seems quickly to catch up, bringing the thrill to a higher level. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of upgrades and options featured in the game, and due to the interesting gameplay mechanics it
I also must say that The Technomancer is not an open world game, and despite this not being the perfect scenario for this title, loading times are fairly quick, which is something highly appreciated.
Overall, The Technomancer is a pleasant experience thanks to the great looking and intense combat. This could be the perfect game to add to your collection after a slight price drop.